The world’s top train trips you simply must experience
The world is an extraordinary place and one of the best ways to delve into its natural beauty, unique cultures, sleepy villages and dazzling cities is on a train. Proudly, South Africa offers two world-renowned rail journeys. If life has taught us anything, it’s about the journey and not the destination, so an adventure on railway tracks is definitely one for the books. Be enthralled by epic sightings from the exquisite landscapes of Africa to stark arid deserts, snow-capped mountains to iconic wildlife and bejewelled palaces floating on golden dunes.
Even better, you get to enjoy this all from the luxury of your seat, where your every whim is catered to. It’s simply irresistible.
An exquisite five-star hotel on wheels
Be among kings and presidents who have travelled on the luxurious Blue Train, wining and dining in opulence, laying your head on the finest bedding and passing by the unforgettable ever-changing vistas of the countryside.
Stay in your choice of stylish De Luxe Suites or Luxury Suites, both utterly enchanting havens of opulence. Dine on delectable cuisine and signature dishes from Karoo lamb, ostrich and venison to Knysna oysters and other award-winning Cape cultivars.
These are the exciting routes available:
- If you are keen to visit the beauty of cosmopolitan Cape Town, then a journey through some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery offered on the African sub-continent is a must.
- Connect with nature and travel from Pretoria to the Kruger National Park, one of the world’s finest game parks and home to Africa’s Big Five.
- Visit Durbs for a splash in the sea and explore the wild beauty of Pilanesberg over New Year.
- Breeze into the Lounge Car for afternoon High Tea or a glass of award-winning wine or a fine Port.
- Relax in the Club Car, evoking the feel of a burnished, wood-panelled gentleman’s club where you are free to enjoy a Cuban cigar to round off a perfect evening.
- Play a game of backgammon, chess or cards, chat with the bartender or simply a solitary reverie of the star-lit skies.
Timeless grace of a bygone era
Spoil yourself on a Rovos Rail train journey to any of Africa’s greatest destinations. Step aboard the vintage wood-panelled coaches, sit back and admire the breath-taking scenery.
Slumber in one of three types of suites: Pullman, Deluxe and Royal, offering privacy and glorious comfort. Relish appetising dishes in elegant dining cars and relax in the lounge and observation cars boasting big picture windows, sofas and booths. Discover bucket list destinations such as Cape Town, Durban, Victoria Falls, a Golf Safari, African Collage, Namibia Safari, Dar es Salaam or a Trail of Two Oceans.
- Enjoy international dishes and traditional South African fare such as milk tart, koeksisters, ostrich and bobotie curries – delicious.
- Dress up for dinner in dashing suits, cocktail dresses, pearls and heels.
- The ultimate ‘digital detox’ with no televisions, radios, internet connectivity and limited mobile phone reception.
Classic rail journey
The USA calls with the Rocky Mountaineer offering incredible train journeys that traverse through the magnificence of Western Canada and the American Southwest. See the sights by day and sleep in stunning hotels at night.
See the world outside from glass-dome coaches with panoramic views and enjoy regionally inspired cuisine abundant with local ingredients and flavours. Rocky Mountaineer offers two levels of service: SilverLeaf and GoldLeaf. Both come with friendly hosts, gourmet breakfasts, lunches and indulgent sweet and savoury snacks. Engaging hosts regale you with stories about historic sites, scenery and wildlife.
- Look out for grizzly bears, bald eagles, elk and big-horned sheep from the comfort of your reclining seat.
- Savour dishes influenced by the natural surrounds such as farm-fresh greens from local markets, fresh salmon from the Pacific Northwest Coast and make a toast to your bucket list experience with Rocky Mountaineer’s own British Columbian wines.
- A variety of routes wind across Western Canada and America so choose your own unforgettable journey.
THE TRANS-MONGOLIAN EXPRESS
Tracing an ancient tea caravan route
One for the books is the historically fascinating Trans-Mongolian Railway that traces the route of ancient tea caravans. Board one of the world’s great trains and ride the rails on this once-in-a-lifetime trip across the grassy steppes of Mongolia and through the taiga forests of Siberia. Share train carriages with locals and spend nights in a Mongolian ger (a portable, circular dwelling) and a cosy Russian guesthouse. From bustling Beijing to the Hermitage in St Petersburg, travel halfway around the world experiencing a movable feast of culture, with plenty of opportunities to get to know your fellow passengers as you travel between stations.
When you ride the Trans Mongolian, you’ll only be sleeping on the train for around a third of the time. During travel days, most people read, play games or simply watch the scenery sliding past from their compartments. But there’s nothing preventing you from taking a wander along the carriage to meet your neighbours, having a chat with the conductor, or sharing a table with fellow passengers in the restaurant car.
- Explore Russia, Mongolia and China on the world’s greatest overland journeys.
- Combine train travel with time to discover ancient cities and charming villages along the way.
- Tour Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital, where tented ger camps make up suburbs neighbouring soaring skyscrapers.
PALACE ON WHEELS, INDIA
Relive an era when kings and queens ruled
Immerse yourself in the bejewelled terrain of Rajasthan and Agra and soak in the culture while being a pampered guest. The Palace on Wheels luxury train takes you on a scintillating journey into the royal land of sand dunes and regal palaces.
Deluxe and Super Deluxe Cabins are simply sensational and the Resto-Bar lounges on the train are the ideal spot to sit and appreciate the passing diverse terrain. Feast on international cuisine and traditional Indian and Chinese dishes in either the Maharaja or Maharani restaurants and sip wine and cocktails at the bar.
India is breathtaking and your journey begins from Delhi to Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur to see the wildlife in Ranthambore National Park, Chittorgarh Fort, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur and Agra to see the Taj Mahal, a masterpiece dedicated to eternal love.
- Be captivated by vibrant colours, opulent mirror work, miniature paintings, antique furniture and silk fabrics.
- Indulge in a massage or wellness treatment at the Aryurvedic spa facility.
- Experience the days of the Raj and live like royalty.